Thousands left homeless as Cyclone Amphan ravages India, Bangladesh

At least 24 killed, thousands of houses destroyed and millions without power as cyclone batters the parts of Bangladesh and eastern India, with millions crammed into shelters despite the risk of coronavirus.

0 12

At least 24 killed, thousands of houses destroyed and millions without power as cyclone batters the parts of Bangladesh and eastern India, with millions crammed into shelters despite the risk of coronavirus.

Cyclone Amphan, which was the most powerful cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal before it weakened, ripped apart homes, tore down trees, washed away bridges and left large predominately rural areas without power or communications.

Amphan is a Thai name that means sky.

At least 16 million children in parts of Bangladesh and India are at imminent risk from flash flooding, storm surges and heavy rain as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall today, UNICEF has warned.

The Indian state of West Bengal, home to more than 50 million people, including over 16 million children, is expected to take a direct hit from the powerful storm.

“The super cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ moved north northeastwards with a speed of 27 kph during past 6 hours, further weakened into a cyclonic storm and lay centered today at 5.30 am over Bangladesh near Lat. 24.7°N and Long. 89.5°E about 270 km north-northeast of Kolkata, 150 km south of Dhubri and 110 km south-southeast of Rangpur (Bangladesh),” the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin on Thursday morning.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday night that the damage was difficult to assess immediately, pointing out that entire islands had been cut off from the mainland and many areas were left without electricity or phone connectivity.

“We are facing three crises: the coronavirus, the thousands of migrants who are returning home and now the cyclone,” said Banerjee. In Bangladesh, at least a million people are without electricity, according to the Ministry of Power.